This week we caught up with 2015-16 crew member Nicolette Horak from Eimo, Queensland, to find out how her race adventure is developing following the completion of her Level 1 training.
Nicolette did her training at our Sydney training centre in Australia, which offers crew the opportunity to complete Level’s 1 to 3 of the four compulsory courses, right through to June 2015.
A keen sailor, Nicolette has sailed most of the way around the world, twice, with her family, when she was between10 and 20 years old.
Name: Nicolette Horak
Lives: Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Chartered Accountant
Signed up for: Clipper 2015-16 Race, Leg 3 and 8
What led you to sign up for the Clipper Race?
I first learned about the race on Mother’s Day this year when I had the rare opportunity of lying down and reading a book. It was written by a previous skipper in the Clipper 2009-10 Race and by Chapter two, I was on the Clipper Race website and had sent for my application form.
I have always watched the Volvo Ocean Race and have dreamed of racing with a team around the world. The Clipper Race offers the necessary training and the opportunity to race around the world or any part of it as part of a team. How could I resist?
Why did you choose Leg 3 and 8?
I once sailed to the Caribbean through the Panama Canal, and up to San Francisco. We then sailed through the South Pacific and on to Australia. Because of issues with import duties we were not able to return to South Africa, so sailed back through the Pacific to Hawaii, where my parents sold our boat. I then joined an Australian boat as crew in Hawaii and sailed to Alaska, then south back through the Panama Canal, and to the UK via Florida, where I left the boat aged 20. You will notice, in all those ocean passages that I have not crossed the Southern Ocean.
I have always wanted to sail the Roaring Forties and to experience the Southern Ocean for myself. It is the one ocean passage I need to do to complete my circumnavigation and the race offers me the perfect opportunity to achieve one of my dreams.
What has been the most challenging so far?
The most challenging part has been coming to grips with the size of the gear on board. How many people it takes to just lift one sail on deck or flake the main sail. You really need to work as a team to get jobs done.
What has been the highlight so far?
The highlight for me would be working as part of a team that all have the same goal, to learn ocean racing. It is wonderful to be on board with so many other people all with a common interest from such different backgrounds.
The other highlight for me was spending a week with three very experienced instructors. Having them available 24/7 to ask questions is priceless.
What advice would you give to someone waiting to do their Level 1 training?
My advice in preparing for Level 1 training is to try and get fit. The fitter and more agile you are the easier it will be to get around on deck and below when the boat is underway.
Be prepared for hard work, there is very little down time as there is so much information that needs to be covered during the week. Just come with a positive attitude and be ready for a long hard active week.
Bring a good pair of sailing gloves and learn how to tie a bow line with your eyes closed!!
What does your family and friends think about you doing the race?
They think I am crazy, but are coming to terms with it. They have been very supportive and are enjoying the journey so far.
If you are interested in finding out more about our Australian training and events centre please contact email@example.com or call: +61 (0) 2 9363 2020Join The Race